With the giant cogs of the British economy finally whirring back into life, many businesses may see significant growth in 2014.
However, for Liz Yorke, Director of Global Operations at officebroker.com, for companies to achieve successful and sustainable growth, they need to expand with maturity.
Here, Liz gives her top five tips for how to mature a company whilst it is growing so you can avoid the pitfalls many companies face as they expand.
1. Embrace Change
When a company grows organically, you create certain processes and people can get stuck in their ways. You may also find that when people take responsibility for things naturally, or by necessity, this can lead to them becomeing possessive over one particular part of the company.
It’s an age-old cliché but there is ‘no I in team’, and employees putting themselves in charge of certain things and then being unwilling to relinquish them could be very unhealthy for the company.
Therefore, as you grow and start to hand over responsibilities correctly, it’s important that you…
As processes grow, they often become more complex or require more detailed monitoring and management. For instance, in the case of officebroker.com these areas include the likes of pay per click advertising and database administration.
When we were smaller, these responsibilities where handled in an ‘all hands to the pumps’ type approach.
However, to maintain their integrity and maximise their potential to influence service levels and revenue generation, boxing off these responsibilities into defined roles can be hugely beneficial.
However, to specialize you need…
Specialising means handing over ownership and sometimes relinquishing the day-to-day knowledge that you gain from this interaction.
This means you have to put trust in the person taking ownership. Sometimes this can be difficult, as you are very familiar and efficient in how you complete a task – but given the right support your successor will flourish and in many cases a fresh perspective can help to improve it.
Nevertheless, for trust to be built you need to develop effective…
Growing companies are often built around a nucleus – be they the owners, investors or trusted employees. Stay mindful that those who were there on day one will often have a sense of ownership toward the company, built around their involvement and the part they have played in helping it grow.
As the company grows and new team members arrive, it is important to understand that their connection and attitude may be different. To keep them engaged, communicate clearly and find the “currency” that works for them (financial rewards, success, acknowledgment).
5. Think Forward
Change brings challenges, but similarly, challenges bring change and it’s all too easy to resist them, have knee-jerk responses or fall back into old habits when they present themselves.
You need to keep thinking forward and give the changes and people delivering them every chance of success. That said, never lose sight of the past or ignore what it has taught you.
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